Designing the overall look of a website and balancing this look with the supposed function of the website is the responsibility of the website designer. It is the job of the web designer to create pages that make up the website, putting in the images and the text, incorporating features such as community chatting and forums, search engines, e-commerce applications, animations, applications that will allow visitors to interact with the website, and other such features and add-ins. While balancing the overall look and function of the website, the web designer is also supposed to make sure that the website will remain accessible to users regardless of the computer and browser they are using, as well as compatible with the technologies that support it. The performance of the website, whether it generates traffic and sales, depends on the quality of work the web designer put into it.

Typical Activities of the Web Designer

In order to accomplish a job, the web designer typically does the following tasks:

1. Take part in planning sessions with the website development team and the client to discuss the requirements for the website

2. Collect articles, images and other material for the website

3. Write up code that will generate the pages to be put up in the website

4. Test the performance of the website and participate in monitoring the said performance

5. Provide user support for the website

6. Update the website content on occasion

Industry Prospects for the Web Designer

In the nineties, during the boom, many people thought that the limits of the Internet have already been reached. But while the startups that had their heyday back then have mostly fizzed out, the Internet continues to grow by leaps and bounds. There are millions of websites on the Internet, and that figure is yet to grow a lot further. We are still on the tip of the iceberg that is the Internet; as long as the Internet continues to grow, there will always be work for the web designer.

The challenge for the web designer is to keep abreast of the development of technology surrounding the Internet, and to keep updating his or her knowledge on the different extensions that support HTML.

The average salary pegged for web designers in 2006 was $54,159, with average bonuses at $1,066.

The Necessary Skills

Web designers often have a background not in computer programming but in fine arts, graphic design and publishing. It is necessary for them to know how to work with software like Dreamweaver, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and other such software. How to work with Flash, XHTLM and XML programming and other such applications are also a must. Web designers also need to be familiar with working with different kinds of operating systems, i.e. Windows, Macintosh and Unix. The ability to work within a team, as well as good communication skills when interacting with clients and the team, are also skills that the web designer must cultivate.

Finding the Job

There is no lack of work for the web designer as more and more companies decide to put up their own presence on the Internet. Web designers can find job postings in classified ads on print media and on the Internet itself. Personal networking and job fairs work as well. If you are a budding web designer, one great way of advertising your work is by putting up a website that showcases your work.

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